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Posts Tagged ‘panning

Don’t Be A Fast or Jerky Panner

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Panning is a simple video term for a side-to-side camera move that sweeps across the action.

Most beginners have two challenges when they first learn to pan a video camera. The first problem is related to speed. Most people pan too fast. If you’re the poor viewer at home, and you see a fast pan across a scene, you might get whiplash!

When to pan too fast, it’s very disorienting to the audience. You also create problems for your camera and editing software. If you pan too fast, your camcorder doesn’t capture enough scene data to deliver enough keyframes for the MPEG encoder and the result is too many motion artifacts. (I’ll explain keyframes in a separate post.)

The other problem I want to mention is the dreaded jerky pan. In a perfect world, you will pan smoothly and evenly. One fluid motion from side-to-side is the goal. A herky/jerky approach full of fits and starts is very disturbing and jarring to the audience. Practice your pan before you hit the record button and time it so that it’s slow enough and smooth enough to properly capture the scene.

For smoother pans, try a fluid tripod head.


Written by scottbourne

February 6, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Posted in Tips

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